A Year in the Life: Ambient Math Wins the Race to the Top!
For one year, 365 days, this blog will address the Common Core Standards from the perspective of creating an alternate, ambient learning environment for math. Ambient is defined as “existing or present on all sides, an all-encompassing atmosphere.” And ambient music is defined as: “Quiet and relaxing with melodies that repeat many times.
Why ambient? A math teaching style that’s whole and all encompassing, with themes that repeat many times through the years, is most likely to be effective and successful. Today’s post will feature the next Grade 2 Common Core Math Standard listed in blue, followed by its ambient counterpart as practiced by Waldorf Education and Math By Hand.
Number and Operations in Base Ten 2.NBT
Use place value understanding and properties of operations to add and subtract.
5. Fluently add and subtract within 100 using strategies based on place value, properties of operations, and/or the relationship between addition and subtraction.
The Grade 2 year begins with a review of computing in all 4 processes with a horizontal format. After switching to a vertical format, two- and three-digit numbers are computed with no regrouping, keeping multiplication and division short (the long forms of both will be introduced in Grade 3). Fluency in all 4 processes is attained up to several hundreds.
Math By Hand uses large, colorful, hands-on materials to teach place value (see the image below). Color coded columns for both the floor and desktop use large number cards and value-coded beans (this is also translated to coins, using pennies, dimes, and silver dollars). Carrying and borrowing in all 4 processes are added now. The relationships between and among all 4 processes are continually practiced. Fluency is enhanced using mental math with movement and games. For example, a lively game of Math By Hand’s Baseball Math offers an opportunity to practice times tables, addition, subtraction, and division, in a friendly and competitive, motivating format.
Knowledge ensues in an environment dedicated to imaginative, creative knowing, where student and teacher alike surrender to the ensuing of knowledge as a worthy goal. Tune in tomorrow for more Common Core, and its ambient, Waldorf/Math By Hand counterpart.